This is what Brazilians Think about Germans
From a German perspective, Brazil is the most important trading partner in South America. When you go back some years, you learn a lot about the history of the German Foreign Trade Chambers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In this way, the roots of the German-Brazilian relationship can be traced, which are essentially responsible for the current image of the Germans.
The diplomatic relationship began in 1871, when the first great wave of German immigrants arrived. In the south of Brazil, many German influences can still be seen today, such as customs, cultural behaviors, and also the language. When Brazilians have German roots they are very proud of it and like to tell about their ancestors.
Overall, it can be said that Germany enjoys a high recognition and popularity in Brazil. You will certainly notice this on your trip to Brazil.
Politics and Economy
Basically, Brazilians have a very good image of the German economy and political situation. Especially German companies and products have a good reputation. “Made in Germany” is associated with conscientious workmanship. Since Germany is considered a highly developed country, especially in the industrial and technological sector, diligence, efficiency, and discipline count as German quality insurance.
Speaking of insurance, Brazilians like to smile about the German insurance system. In Brazil, it is well known that in Germany you can take out insurance for any little thing.
Even though Holocaust and World War II happened decades ago, this topic is also known to Brazilians and is naturally associated with Germany.
Furthermore, many Brazilians know Berlin as the capital. Less known, but still present are Neuschwanstein and Cologne Cathedral. Other prominent cities are Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich.
When asked about problems that Brazilians associate with Germany, the answer is often terrorism. Terrorism is rather less present in Brazil, so the topic is a distant one, which Brazilians associate with European countries.
In contrast, however, they rate Germany as a very safe country with a good police service and little crime.
When Brazilians are asked about German politicians, the names that come up most often are Angela Merkel, Adolf Hitler, and Pope Benedict. Gerhard Schröder, Helmut Schmidt, and Willi Brandt are also mentioned by a few people.
When it comes to German companies, Brazilians think of Bayer, Volkswagen, which is successful in Brazil, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
In addition to automobiles, German products that are spread in Brazil include medicine, metal, steel, Nutella, and surprise eggs.
Climate and nature
When you listen to Brazilians talk about German weather, you might think Germany is located at the North Pole. For most South Americans, Germany is always cold and it’s constantly snowing. Since many Brazilians have never seen snow, they imagine Germany to be a bit like a winter paradise. In addition, some Brazilians report that they associate Germany with the Alps and react surprised when they hear that there are rather few mountains in Northern Germany.
In fact, most Brazilians think of the stereotypical German appearance when they have to describe a German. That means for them most Germans are tall, blond, and light-eyed. Many Brazilian women also often find the idea of a German man very attractive, as they rarely encounter tall and blond men in their country. But of course, this is a matter of taste.
As you may guess, in a soccer crazy country like Brazil, German soccer is appreciated. At least, after the 1-7 defeat at the World Cup 2014, German soccer has a good reputation in Brazil. However, Brazilians are anything but enthusiastic about German soccer presenters. In their opinion, the German commentators show a lack of emotion. While in Brazil every ball change is documented full of euphoria, in Germany it allegedly sounds more like the presenters are telling a factual story.
Closely related to soccer is, of course, beer. According to some Brazilians, beer is even drunk for breakfast in Germany. That Germans are never drunk is another rumor that has spread among some Brazilians.
The Oktoberfest, including potatoes, sausage, and, above all, sauerkraut, is also well known. In the Brazilian city of Blumenau it is even celebrated in the traditional way.
The reputation that Germans show little emotion and rather isolate themselves is attributed to the sparsely used gestures and facial expressions. Especially against a spirited country like Brazil, Germans are very dreary in their use of emotion. When Brazilians talk about the cleanliness and discipline of Germans, they sometimes even compare them to the military.
Regarding language, Brazilians notice a very harsh way of talking. In contrast to Brazilians, Germans use their throat a lot when speaking. This often sounds a bit harsh and strict.
Furthermore, Brazilians believe that Germans are constantly on their toes. For example, in Germany you say “Shall we get going?”, finish the drinks and leave. In Brazil, on the other hand, people take their time, finish their drink in peace, remain seated for a while, and then get ready in a relaxed manner.
If you ask Brazilians about German traits, many agree. Adjectives such as disciplined, serious, determined, organized, and also cagey are often associated with Germans. Character traits can be clearly divided into those with positive connotations and those with negative connotations. Among the more poorly regarded traits are inflexibility, arrogance, closed mentality, seriousness, and bad temper. On the other hand, security, order, peace, cleanliness, and reliability are regarded positively referring to Germany.
Obviously, state and society are evaluated more positively than the German mentality. During a vacation in Brazil, Germans may emphasize their sense of humor and positive energy. One thing is for sure, in Brazil you can't get into a bad mood at all!
Sources: www.spk-berlin.de, www.stern.de, www.youtube.com